catkin is a CMake and python based build system for building ROS packages. It was designed to replace the original ROS build system, rosbuild. One of the significant advantages of catkin over rosbuild is that it is cross-platform (e.g. supports Windows).

catkin is installed automatically when ROS is installed.


catkin typically uses the folder ~/catkin_ws/ as it’s workspace.

A new workspace can be initialised by running:

You can build all ROS packages within a workspace by running:

By default, catkin build swallows all output it’s sub-processes may emit to stdout (but will still emit stderr messages). To allow stdout output to be seen, use the verbose ( -v ) flag:

You can clean all build output by using:

 catkin will normally prompt you to make sure to you want to clean everything.

Posted: December 2nd, 2016 at 2:53 am
Last Updated on: January 11th, 2017 at 11:54 pm